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August 2012  

Stephanie Klett   
Department Secretary   

Arts Board  | Council Perspectives | Marketing and Tourism News | Industry Relations | Grant News
Customer Service & Technology | Wisconsin in the News | Travel Green Wisconsin

Secretary Message

Hello Everyone,

WKOW I just got back from the Connect Marketplace in New Orleans where Wisconsin rocked it! This was my first time at Connect Marketplace and I have to say it's a lot like speed-dating with meeting planners. Between the state and the other 9 communities at the trade show, Wisconsin had approximately 200 appointments. People loved the Wisconsin cheese at their place setting during lunch and the Wisconsin delegation stood out in their Badger red. Governor Walker joined us to personally invite meeting planners to "Think Wisconsin" and encourage them to register for the 2013 Connect Marketplace in Milwaukee. The event also featured a celebrity line-up of speakers that included Seth Meyers from Saturday Night Live Weekend Update and the famous husband and wife political team Mary Matalin and James Carville. We expect a lot of business will be coming Wisconsin's way after this event!

I have a few days in Madison before flying off again, this time with a few members of Team Tourism to Boston for the annual U.S. Travel Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO). I look forward to meeting people from other state tourism offices and learning how we can market Wisconsin in the most effective way we can. We are also up for several U.S. Travel Mercury Awards. It's an honor and truly exciting for the Department to be nominated for these awards.

Best wishes for a busy Labor Day weekend,

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Lola Roeh   
Governor's Council on Tourism   

Top of the page
Council Perspectives

Chair Lola Roeh is on a well-deserved vacation this week. She'll be back with her column next month!

Thursday, October 18th
10:00-2:00 PM
Wild Eagle Lodge
Eagle River

Dave Fantle    
Deputy Secretary   
Top of the page
Marketing Update

DNR and Tourism Team Up on Waters & Woods
# In a joint effort to promote fishing in Wisconsin, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp and Stephanie fished the hotspot of Delavan Lake during a shoot of John Gillespie's "Waters & Woods." The episode aired Aug. 4-5 in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Northern Illinois, Northern Indiana, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota. Check out some really fun clips from the episode featuring Cathy and Stephanie reeling in their catch.

Fall Campaign Launches in September
September 3 marks the launch of our fall campaign, which features a refreshed girls' getaway TV spot, new radio and digital ads, along with some creative guerilla marketing. All of the campaign assets will be available to view on the Marketing Overview page in the coming weeks. Print, paid search, Facebook, Twitter and online banner advertising round out the fall media mix and drive travelers to and our Fall Color Report. The popular Fall Color Report has also been freshened to enhance the user experience.

Peter Greenberg Tapes Radio Show in Green Bay#
If you missed last month's newsletter, Peter Greenberg was back in Wisconsin taping a Hidden Gems segment featuring tribal tourism. He conducted a live broadcast from Green Bay that aired August 11. In his radio program, he proved that Wisconsin is more than just cheeseheads and football (although we love those things, too) as he introduced his international audience to Wisconsin's 11 tribal nations and Green Bay. If you missed it, download the podcast here. We'll make sure to let you know when the Hidden Gems video segments airs and send out the links.

International Tourism Committee Established
A brand new International Tourism Committee has been formed to provide key advisement as the Department of Tourism creates a strategic international marketing plan. International visitors currently make up about $600 million of the annual direct expenditures of $10 billion. With numerous international assets such as Harley-Davidson, Native American culture, Green Bay Packers, Frank Lloyd Wright, EAA AirVenture, world-class golf and more, Wisconsin has plenty to offer. The committee will assess how to utilize opportunities such as trade shows, conferences, Brand USA, among others to deliver our travel message. The roster of the International Tourism Committee is below.

                   International Tourism Committee
  • Peggy Bitzer - Circle Wisconsin
  • Wendy Coomer - Dept. of Administration
  • Michelle Danforth - Oneida Nation
  • Wendy Dobraszinski - Visit Milwaukee
  • Geri Dresen - Iron River Chamber of Commerce
  • Clarissa Erickson - La Crosse Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Jason Kauffeld - Green Lake County UW-Extension
  • Cory Mace - The North Central Group
  • Lisa Remby - Harley-Davidson Museum
  • Brad Toll - Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Shelly Allness - Dept. of Tourism
  • Dave Fantle - Dept. of Tourism
  • Sarah Klavas - Dept. of Tourism

  LInk to Metrics


Dawn Zanoni   
Special Events and Markets Manager   

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Conference & Education

WIGCOT Coming to Madison; Plus Two New Sponsors
It's not too soon to book your rooms in Madison for the 2013 Governor's Conference on Tourism, March 17-20. We're also pleased to announce that Culver's and Kwik Trip are supporting Wisconsin's tourism industry as Bronze Sponsors for WIGCOT 2013. Stay tuned for more conference information as we head into fall.
Wisconsin Fall Tourism Convention, Nov 8-9#
The Wisconsin Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus invites you to set sail to the 2012 Wisconsin Fall Tourism Convention, November 8-9 in Sheboygan at the Blue Harbor Resort. Enjoy top-notch educational sessions and outstanding networking opportunities, including keynote presentation by Wisconsin's own John McHugh of Kwik Trip.
Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show, October 21-23
Save the date for the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association annual conference and trade show, October 21- 23 at the Kalahari Resort Convention Center & Waterpark.

Make Research Connections at CenStates TTRA Conference
# Register now for the 2012 CenStates Travel and Tourism Research Association conference, September 26-27 in Hamilton County, Indiana. This conference brings together tourism professionals from 14 states who believe in the power of a research based marketing program. Peter Yesawich is the scheduled keynote speaker and additional topics include best practices in tourism research, metrics for mobiles, international marketing, using research for tourism product development, social media damage control, and more. Early bird registration is $190 for CenStates TTRA members and $215 for non-members until September 5. Half day options are also available. Visit for more information.

Sarah Klavas    
Industry Relations & Services Director   
Top of the page
Industry Services

Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship Programs Offers Training in Hospitality & Tourism #
Wisconsin's Youth Apprenticeship (YA) program integrates classroom and work-based learning for high school juniors and seniors to acquire entry-level, career ready skills in their field of interest. The Hospitality, Lodging and Tourism YA program offers a variety of choices for occupational skill development in Food and Beverage, Lodging, Reservations and Tour Activity, Meetings and Events, Maintenance and Ground, Marketing and Sales, and Management. Unlike a kid with an after-school job, YA skill development ensures students are mentored professionally and offered a broad base of occupational experiences in an industry.

The program is operated statewide by the Department of Workforce Development and has partnerships in almost all Wisconsin high schools. To learn how to become a YA Employer, tap into resources, and mentor the next generation of Wisconsin's tourism workforce, visit the Youth Apprenticeship or contact statewide Coordinator Amy Phillips at 608-267-3214. They will also sponsor a booth at this spring's Tourism Conference.

Customer Service Training Success
The Department's Customer Service Training program, launched in March, has been in high demand. The Regional Tourism Specialists have conducted more than 30 sessions, training over 500 people in the tourism industry. Take your customer service to the next level by contacting your RTS to schedule a session in your destination, business or organization.

Lisa Marshall   
Communications Director    
Top of the page
Wisconsin in the News

Promoting Wisconsin as a Bicycling Destination
The Department is partnering with Saris Cycling Group to attend the 2013 Interbike Trade Show in Las Vegas in September 19-21. Interbike is North America's largest bicycle trade event and show. Department staff will join a representative from Laughlin-Constable to make appointments and meet with media representatives to generate press tours and media coverage of Wisconsin's bicycling assets.

In the News this Month
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a full-color, front-page feature in the Travel section about the spectacular waterfall season in Northwest Wisconsin following abundant rainfall this summer.
  • asked for best kid-friendly beach suggestions and Sheboygan made the list at #17.
  • Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan, and Point Beach State Forest in Two Rivers were three of the's picks for best Midwest Beaches.
  • Over 40 journalists descended on Green Bay and Milwaukee this summer during the Department's press tours and both the Milwaukee Business Journal and Green Bay Press Gazette were on hand to get the scoop on journalists' positive impressions of Wisconsin.
  • featured the Wilderness Resort's Wild Abyss Mini-Course in a round-up of the Wackiest Mini-Golf Courses.
  • The Turtle-Flambeau Flowage received fantastic coverage in the Chicago Tribune, where readers learned about rustic camping opportunities along the water.
  • Gear Junkie created an excellent video from the Stubborn Mule Adventure Race in Merrill.
  • Bon Appétit named Braise one of the top 50 Best New Restaurants in the nation.
Update on PR Activities
With two press tours in the last month, the PR team has been busy. We're preparing for quite a bit of fall media coverage and booking TV interviews around the state and in Chicago. Danielle and Lisa are also back on the road this fall attending the MTWA meeting in Quad Cities and the SATW annual meeting in Indianapolis, respectively.

Shelly Allness   
Program Manger & Liaision   
Top of the page
Travel Green Wisconsin

Survey Finds Investment in Green Lodging Remains Strong
A survey conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) shows that hotels are continuing to add more sustainable practices to their operations. The usage of energy management sensors, LED lighting, recycling and water saving programs have increased across the board. Forty-nine percent of properties have or are working toward green certification, up from about 30 percent in 2004.

Natural Resources Magazine to Cover Travel Green Wisconsin
Wisconsin Natural Resources, a magazine published by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, will cover Travel Green Wisconsin in several articles over the next year. Keep an eye out – the first one will be in the October 2012 issue.

Learn the Economic & Environmental Benefits of Becoming TGW Certified
As the busy summer season winds down, we are working on lining up TGW presentations. These free presentations have proven to be very helpful. If you are interested in learning more or helping to promote your area as a supporter of TGW, contact Shelly Allness and set up a date for a presentation or meeting in your community. With our reduced fee it's now less than $50/year to become and remain TGW certified!

Online Renewal Now Available!
You requested it and we listened – members are now able to renew their Travel Green Wisconsin certification online. You can find the link on our industry site. It's fast and easy and green! The option to download and send in the paperwork is still available. Payment can be mailed to the Department attention: Travel Green Wisconsin.

Travel Green Logo

Kudos to the community of Bayfield for submitting 10 new TGW applications in one month! They continue to be great leaders for this exciting program.

Cooper Hill House B&B
Hauser's Bayfield Cabin
Apostle Island Weddings
Bayfield Wine & Spirits
Pikes Bay Marina
Bayfield's Festival of Arts
Cozy Nook B&B
Apostle Island Booksellers
A Natural Branch of Learning
Kenosha Area CVB-First TGW certified property in Kenosha!
Kenosha Art & Natural History Museum
Kenosha Dinosaur Discovery Museum
Kenosha Civil War Museum
Oconomowoc Farmer's Market-First TGW certified farmer's market!
Marriot Madison West (Middleton)


Abbie Hill    
Grant Coordinator   
Top of the page
Grant News

Grant Tip of the Month: Step 2 of the Grant Review Process
The purpose of both the Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) and Tourist Information Center (TIC) Committees is to review grant applications and make funding recommendations to the Department of Tourism Secretary that comply with Tourism Administrative Code and Wisconsin State Statutes. A big thank you goes out to Cheryl Zaug Casey, Dennis DuChene, Jean Galasinski (who joined the Committee in November 2011), Greg Stillman and Chair, George Tzougros. These individuals served the State of Wisconsin in fiscal 2012 by reading over 800 pages of application materials and recommending JEM grant funding for 43 applications. George steps down after the August meeting and turns the Chair over to Paul Upchurch.

Joint Effort Marketing– November 1
Meetings Mean Business – December 1
Destination Marketing – September 1
Ready, Set, Go! – September 1
Tourism Information Center – January 1


Joellyn Merz   
Technology & Customer Service   
Top of the page
Customer Service & Technology

Number #1 for Fall: The Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report
With over 200,000 page views, the Fall Color Report was the top viewed page on for September and October last year. The popular report is even more interactive this year. Travelers will now be able to add and geo-tag photos directly to the report. The report can also be viewed from any mobile device so travelers can find your area's fall color while they are on the road. Other new enhancements include social media share tools, the ability to rate photos, and a full browser interface for a better user experience. The report launches Thursday, Sept. 6.

July Click-Thrus to Partner Sites Up in July
One sure sign of intent to travel, as well as a measure of website success, are click-thrus to our partner sites. During the month of July, this was up over 200% from 29,851 in 2011 to 108,182 in 2012.

George Tzougros   
Executive Director   
Top of the page
Arts Board

Arts Education in the News
The back to school edition of Milwaukee Family Magazine features a cover article on the Wisconsin Arts Board and its role in arts education. The article examines how arts programs in schools can spark creativity, imagination, team building and a love of learning as well as prepare kids for careers in a creative economy. The Wisconsin Arts Board supports this effort by connecting artists with schools via the Wisconsin Folks website and providing grants for arts education with the Creative Communities Program.


Harnessing the power of tourism to build a better Wisconsin.
See how on:
Wisconsin Department of Tourism
201 W Washington Ave Madison, WI 53703
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